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Chamber and committees

Question ref. S6W-01749
Asked by: Jamie Greene, West Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party
Date lodged: 22 July 2021

Question

To ask the Scottish Government whether it plans to undertake an awareness campaign to highlight the risk of grass fires to campers and other users of the rural environment, in light of a reported increase in grass fires caused by campers in 2019-20.

Current status: Answered by Mairi McAllan on 30 August 2021


Answer

The Scottish Government’s public agencies are running promotional campaigns to support responsible enjoyment of the countryside, as part of the wider national visitor management strategy co-ordinated by VisitScotland. This includes messaging which relates to responsible lighting of fires, strongly emphasising for example the use of camping stoves. It also highlights the need to follow any relevant local guidance and promotes sensible behaviours. The campaigns are being taken forward through both traditional and social media, including work with online influencers to help reach audiences that are otherwise difficult to engage.

Figures show there has been widespread public engagement with these campaigns over the summer period.

£2.75 million has been allocated by Scottish Ministers this year for the Better Places Green Recovery Fund, administered by NatureScot, which partly provides for additional seasonal rangers to promote responsible behaviour. We are also providing our National Parks with an extra £3.6 million in 2021 which will support, among other things, seasonal rangers.

In addition, land managers have been advised to use time limited local signage or other communication methods to inform people when there are high risk conditions, working with local authorities and National Park Authorities.